Brandon Flowers was being featured on a Norwegian talk show. He appeared thinking that he would just be representing his band and talking about his music (a sort of announcement before a release of a new album on iTunes). But the show then announced that they had invited another guest: Richard Dawkins. I will not even link to him because I do not support him in any way, not even with link juice!
He is one of the world's leading (if you can say that) atheists. He is like a mix of Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin and Korihor. He is an outright, ruthless, godless man. I had to study his hypotheses and theories for a class at BYU once. The assignment was an in-depth critique of his writings and it nearly made me sick. He has a completely different world view. He is an evolutionary biologist who believes that science has the answer and explanation to everything. He says that there is no room for God and that people who believe in God are simply ignorant to greater knowledge. That they haven't studied the topic (in his case - biology) thoroughly enough and that if they had gone into enough depth, they would clearly see that there was no divine designer. I have to control myself or I will really go off on how absolutely absurd this is. So I won't. All I will say is that Dawkins will be among those whose knees will bend and whose tongues will confess that Jesus is the Christ and the Creator of all.
- John A. Widtsoe - Graduated from Harvard in the sciences with the highest honors and went on to become an apostle. Wrote an amazing book on his religious devotion even as a scientist called Evidences and Reconciliations.
- James E. Talmage - Studied and received degrees and advanced degrees in the sciences at Johns Hopkins and became an apostle. Um, he also wrote Jesus the Christ.
- Henry Eyring - A remarkable chemist whose work on transition state theory in chemical reactions (activation energy - which I think is fascinating) got him the National Medal of Science in 1966, the Wolf Prize in Chemistry and ten other prestigious prizes or medals. Other scientists did further work based on his research who went on to receive the Nobel Prize (there is a controversy around why he was not given the award). He is the father of Henry Bennion Eyring (member of the first presidency today). In addition to the hundreds of scientific publications he authored, he wrote some texts about his faith as a scientist.
- Richard G. Scott - Nuclear physicist who was given the special assignment to the team of scientists who created the first nuclear powered submarine in history - the US Nautilus. Has served his whole life in the Church and is now one of the 12 apostles.
- Russell M. Nelson - Another of the 12 apostles of the Church who is a world-renown cardiovascular surgeon, whose work on the artificial heart is very notable.
Though I always hesitate to become a Mormon apologist, there is a part of me that wants to go up against people like Dawkins with intellectual arguments for the truth that include science. Though this may be more like when my companions would try to argue with Evangelicals and Jehovah's Witnesses in Spanish, using the Bible. No one got anything out of it other than frustration. haha.
It is good for us to have a bit of opposition to our beliefs. It just makes us stronger. I'm writing a book right now for returned missionaries. Here is a teaser from the second chapter: When our beliefs are questioned, they either fail or they are strengthened. And more often they are strengthened because we recheck what we believe and we check it with God (or at least we should). Then we come back having our knowledge of the truth that we have strengthened. That is why returned missionaries often have such strong conviction of the truth. They are constantly opposed. Hugh Nibley puts it this way:
"Long experience has shown that the Latter-day Saints only become aware of the nature and genius of their modern scriptures when relentless and obstreperous criticism from the outside, forces them to take a closer look at what they have, with the usual result of putting those scriptures in a much stronger position than they were before."
(Hugh Nibley. An Approach to the Book of Abraham, p. 40).
Like Brandon Flowers, you, and every other common and famous Mormon out there will likely be put on the spot sometime in the near future. It probably won't be up against someone like Richard Dawkins, but you will have a Korihor to face. And you will have to be ready. Are you ready? I hope so. Remember the faith of scientists, and "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you." (1 Peter 3:15)
Though I was alone in my kitchen, I gave Brandon a standing ovation as I watched him on my phone while eating lunch. Way to be the Alma, and the rockstar, literally. I'll go download your songs now on iTunes.